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Dublin City Council is going to spend €1.6 million to remove chewing gum

There’s a litter fine of €150 for those who throw chewing gum on the ground.

DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL is set to spend €1.6 million on the removal of discarded chewing gum in public areas.

The local authority is seeking tenders for a contract to remove gum from footpaths and pedestrianised zones throughout litter blackspots in its administrative area over the next three years.

It expects to spend €1.6 million plus Vat on these services, according to tender documents.

The huge cost of removing chewing gum from public areas comes despite recurring awareness campaigns run by Dublin City Council in recent years, which were intended to encourage responsible disposal of gum.

The campaigns have involved waste-management personnel handing out free gum wraps to pedestrians in the city centre. According to the local authority’s website, “The public’s behaviour in disposing of gum litter responsibly has improved dramatically.”

However, the National Littering Pollution Monitoring System for Dublin City Council showed earlier this year that chewing gum remained the main food-related litter issue in the capital.

“Dublin City Council proposes to establish a framework agreement for three years, with an option to extend for a further year, for the provision of chewing gum removal services from specified areas around Dublin City Council’s administrative area,” stated the tender notice.

“The requirements of the contract are the complete removal of chewing gum deposits from footpaths and pedestrianised areas within the specification of requirements…”

Previous tender documents have identified particular blackspots for chewing-gum litter in Dublin City. These include Henry Street and Mary Street, O’Connell Street, and North Earl Street.

Specialist firms typically use steam and detergent to disintegrate and dislodge chewing gum that has been discarded in public places. Remaining residues are vacuumed by specialised machinery, which can remove up to 700 pieces of gum per hour.

Interested parties have until December 11 to bid for the contract.

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Darragh McDonagh
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